Girl highlights diabetes fight

A TEN-year-old girl who lives with diabetes raised awareness of the plight of sufferers with a special event at her school.

A TEN-year-old girl who lives with diabetes raised awareness of the plight of sufferers with a special event at her school.

Ashleigh Connell held a Denims for Diabetes Day at Kingsfleet Primary in Old Felixstowe - with youngsters raising cash for research to help people with the condition.

Ashleigh was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of five. A place has been set aside for her at school for injections and blood sugar monitoring and she is monitored by teachers who have taken time to learn about the disorder.

Her mum Sarah-Jane Connell, of Gainsborough Road, Felixstowe, said youngsters at the school in Ferry Road paid 50p to wear jeans to school and raised �130 for Diabetes UK.

“Ashleigh also took a special assembly to help the children understand diabetes and raise awareness of it,” she said.

“She told them about the effect it has on her and how she lives her life.

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“She explained about her injections and how she monitors her blood sugar levels, and why she sometimes had to have snacks when the other children do not in order to keep up her energy levels, especially when doing exercise like PE.

“It went really well and helped explain a lot to the children and make them more aware of what children around them might be having to cope with.”

She said the staff at the school were fantastic and really looked after Ashleigh, being aware of her needs and keeping a close eye on her at all times.

Ashleigh has been actively campaigning to increase awareness of diabetes and was one of 200 children from across the country who travelled to the House of Commons in London to lobby MPs for improved care in schools for sufferers.

She was able to tell the MPs how her life had improved since Kingsfleet Primary teachers and staff knew more about her condition.

Do you know a school which is taking special action to care for pupils with particular needs through illness or disability? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail


Diabetes mellitus is a condition where the amount of glucose in the blood is too high because the body cannot use it properly.

Type 1 diabetes develops if the body is unable to produce any insulin - this type of diabetes usually appears before the age of 40.

Type 1 diabetes is the least common of the two main types and accounts for between five to 15 per cent of all people with diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes develops when the body can still make some insulin, but not enough, or when the insulin that is produced does not work properly and usually appears in people over the age of 40.

There are currently more than 2.5 million people with diabetes in the UK and more than half a million people with diabetes who have the condition and don't know it.

Symptoms of diabetes can include increased thirst, going to the loo all the time, extreme tiredness, weight loss, blurred vision and slow healing of wounds.

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